Reportedly, a man living around Yellowstone National Park took in an injured fawn and nursed it back to health, after it collapsed in his yard.
What’s more, he documented the whole thing on YouTube in a 17-minute video, which you can watch below.
Darius Sasnauskas posted the video to his channel, honeysada nearly a month ago, but it only recently gained traction, racking up nearly three million views as of this afternoon.
The fawn video is similar to the other videos in the channel, which concern animal life as varied as bears, wolves, beavers, and bees.
In the video, Sasnauskas documents watching the fawn hobble across his yard in the company of its mother and sibling. Eventually, the mother and other fawn dart off, leaving behind the injured deer.
What follows is a montage of care and rehabilitation, with Sasnauskas building the fawn a brace for its leg and bottle-feeding it, as Sasnauskas’ other pets (dogs and cats) look on. In time, the fawn can walk, even run a bit. It seems to make friends not only with Sasnauskas, but also his dog Mack, a Bernese Mountain Dog, seen sharing a bottle and chasing after the deer enthusiastically.
With Sasnauskas, the bond seems especially strong, with the fawn shown licking his face, following him around. Nonetheless, Sasnauskas (whose YouTube channel states he donates 80 percent of his support money to animal shelters) states soberly he knew he couldn’t (and shouldn’t) keep the fawn. Nonetheless, as documented in the video, whenever he tries to release the fawn it comes running back.
As Sasnauskas relates, the fawn eventually made it back to its mother and sibling. Alas, there’s no footage of the reunion. There is, however, purported footage of the grown fawn and its family running around Sasnauskas’ property, shown at the end of the video.
If the story seems far-fetched, there are several antecedents. Deer have been kept as pets before, most notably Audrey Hepburn’s pet deer, Pippin. Similarly, Isak Dinesen relates in Out of Africa her experience raising a gazelle she named Lulu after she receives it as a fawn. Lulu, like Sasnauskas’ fawn, left when it was old enough and healthy enough.